History

 

Our community has a rich history dating back to 1764. Originally established as a boys’ preparatory school for Kings College (or Columbia University as it’s known today), Columbia Grammar School functioned for 100 years under the direct auspices of the college, providing more than half of their student body. In 1864, however, Columbia Grammar School ended its relationship with the college and became a proprietary institution, later achieving non-profit status in 1941.

In 1956, we welcomed more students into our community when we joined with the neighboring Leonard School for Girls and became a co-educational institution. Leonard’s interconnected brownstones on West 94th Street are home today to our Pre-K through Second Grade students.

In 1978, the school’s name was officially changed to Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School and three years later, Dr. Richard J. Soghoian was appointed headmaster—only the 13th in the school’s long history. Over the past three decades, Dr. Soghoian has expertly guided the physical expansion of the school, which today is now the largest campus in Manhattan, educating 1,300 students from Pre-K to Grade 12.

In 2014, we proudly celebrated our 250th anniversary as one of the oldest independent schools in the United States.